GOP Proposal Conditions Palestinian Aid on Halting Unilateralism

Washington, Dec. 16 — The U.S. Congress will likely continue to fund the Palestinian Authority (PA) if it doesn't seek membership in more United Nations agencies, according to a proposal released on Thursday.

PA foreign minister Riad Malki said separately that the Palestinians would persevere in their unilateral push for statehood while snubbing peace talks with Israel.

"A fourth time, we might lose, and a fifth time we might lose, and we'll go again until we reach a point when we will win," Malki said.

The Palestinian Authority failed to gain unilateral statehood at the U.N. Security Council and PA officials say they will approach other U.N. agencies to gain admission as a full state.

The Palestinians won entry into the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, last month, triggering a cut-off of American aid to the agency. U.S. funding comprises a major portion of UNESCO’s budget.

Congressional Republicans, who released the proposal that pins aid to the PA on stopping unilateral measures, said they would give a pass on the UNESCO vote that infuriated U.S. lawmakers. But they said the new measure will halt U.S. aid if the Palestinians try to capitalize on their UNESCO admission. The proposal also allows the Palestinian mission in Washington, D.C. to remain open

There is no timetable for a vote, but GOP members of Congress said they would push the measure through as soon as possible.

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